It’s one versus all and by way of the WWE network myself, Matt Streuli and Aidan Parr tuned in at the wee hours of Monday morning. For the first time in history the stipulation of the thirty man battle royal changed and Roman Reigns puts his WWE world heavyweight championship belt on the line .
The Royal Rumble Kick off show
To begin with were presented with a panel that consisted of both Jerry the King Lawler and Booker T, I couldn’t remember the name of the blonde lady and guy with a tattooed throat but for some time they talked about the statistics of the rumble. Then we saw a video clip probably for the first of five times in the evening as predicted by Mr Parr. Next up we were promised a fatal four way elimination tag match where the winners go into the rumble.
The League of Nations cut a promo pledging their allegiance to their team even though it’s clearly all against all. I quite like the premise of this stable, with both Wade Barret and Sheamus taking this group a little bit tongue in cheek and simply humouring Rusev. I think Alberto Del Rio has a little better poker face but the League of Nations is simply the Rusev humouring society.
Next up Kevin Owens was interviewed and talked about beating John Cena on his WWE debut and then going on to make history tonight with his last man standing match with Dean Ambrose for the IC title.
Fatal Four Way Tag Team Match – Winning team goes into the Rumble
Dudley Boyz vs Mark Henry & Jack Swagger vs Damien Sandow & Darren Young vs The Ascension
It didn’t take long until the referee was overrun and everyone was in the ring after some quick tags and no action from the Dudleys. Then it cut to commercial break? Strange move by the WWE in my honest opinion. Are we showing wrestling or selling the shit that can be found around the network. Advertising to people about the network to an audience who are mainly on the network seems a bit baffling to me.
So we come back and D-von Dudley in being worked over by both of the Ascension. There’s clearly a build up here to Bubba Ray’s hot tag. He comes in and takes out pretty much everyone including a big boot to Mark Henry which is followed up by a ‘wassup’ and then 3-D to one of the Ascension. Out of nowhere Mark Henry gets back in and takes advantage of the downed 3D’d Ascension member and picks up the pin fall.
Result- Mark Henry and Jack Swagger to enter the royal rumble match.
Verdict- We weren’t quite sure the actual rules of this match and Mr Parr did state that Mark Henry may not have been legal. Guess the WWE make their own rules up as they go along. In all honesty the match was too short to really judge it as any good.
The Royal Rumble
Before the promo hits a limo turns up at the arena and its Vince McMahon and his daughter. After a rather pointless and incoherent interview with JoJo they continue into the arena, although we know they have been there all afternoon.
First Match – Intercontinental Championship – Last man standing
Dean Ambrose (C) vs Kevin Owens
It didn’t take long for this fight to boil over and plough through the announcer team. To my pleasure Owens was thrown into Michael Cole. This then eventually resulted in Ambrose crashing into the timekeepers area collapsing the well-padded wall. The kendo stick made an appearance as both competitors made it back into the ring. Owens then proceeded to take out at least 5 steel chairs and put his feet up in the ring. An arrogant move for the fighter but a show of who was in the driver’s seat early on. Seeing as it’s PG the weapon usage was minimal and impacts were controlled early on.
Both competitors teeter over two set out chairs which eventual results in Ambrose back body dropping Owens onto them. Yet another 4 or five count that both answer to. Crowd chanting ‘this is awesome’ but compared to the Shawn Michaels and Triple H last man standing matches this is pretty tame so far. That is until Owens brings out a table from under the ring or as JBL calls it, home depot. Another table comes out and they are stacked on one another in one corner outside the ring. This is looking like a series of weapon placed spots setting up and eventual win.
Dirty deeds by Ambrose after an impressive back and forth. Owens get up at an eight count but is looking pretty out of it. Another dirty deeds onto the steel chair but the table set up outside suggests this isn’t over. This time Owens rolls out of the ring at nine and stands on his feet. Ambrose follows and yet another table comes out. Not sure where this is going. Ambrose hits elbow drop through a downed Owens who is on the table. Both are up at eight.
Back in the ring where Ambrose yells his hatred for Owens who replies with the same. Another table set up in the ring and Owens reverses a superplex into a hybrid type slam and sends Ambrose through the wood. Several chairs are set up and Owens lays Ambrose onto them. This happens in the corner where the double stack table is situated. He goes for the top rope and Ambrose rises and pushes him off and through both tables.
Result – Dean Ambrose retains after Owens couldn’t answer a ten count after going through a double stack of tables.
One word verdict – Tabley (if that’s a word)
Second Match -WWE Tag Team Championship
The New Day (c) vs The Uso’s
The New Day emerge with microphones and are in mourning of the loss of their trombone. Then the trumpeting begins, gets the crowd going anyway. Two of the many teams responsible for bringing the tag division back to relevancy do their thing and bring us a traditional back and forth affair. There were high risk out of the ring diving manoeuvres from all involved. Xavier Woods kept the crowd warmed up with Francesca 2.0 making this match a crowd pleaser. All of the tag team boxes were quickly ticked by the six minute mark . Big E picks up the win with the big ending which Aidan enjoyed very much.
A time defying match where you never really felt its length as there was always something going on.
Result- The New Day retain
One word verdict – Fun
Third Match – The United States Championship
Alberto Del Rio (c) vs Kalisto
As a casual part time viewer this seems to be some level of grudge match between the two Mexicans. This also appears to be an underdog story. A very much one sided battle early on with Kalisto breaking out every now and then. This feels somewhat like squash match to me.
As expected a lot of lucha libre stuff. Kalisto taking advantage of his size and high flying ability and started to build some forward momentum. It feels like a matter of time until del rio hits the right move but captivating on his momentum Kalisto pulls off a shock win!
Result- Kalisto new US champ
One word verdict – Lucha!
Fourth Match – The Divas Championship
Charlotte (c) vs Becky Lynch
Personally I think Ric Flair is selling himself short for trying to beef up this exposure to this storyline. Not much has changed in the last twenty years in terms of women’s matches. It’s sad to say that most fans probably are indifferent to how this will go. Saying that Becky Lynch seems to have more get up and go than Charlotte, let’s hope the Dubliner wins.
An energetic start with Becky leading the charge. They head out of the ring where Ric Flair gets involved funnily and kisses Lynch then proceeds to woooo!. Having seen Charlotte perform a few times I’m still not convinced by her in any way. Saying that her athleticism cant be faulted and neither can Becky’s. A longer match for a divas contest and there were a few good high risk moves
Result – Charlotte retains after a spear
One word verdict – Wooooo!
After the match Charlotte continues a beat down and is then interrupted by the emergence of Sasha Banks. She then knocks the already downed Lynch from the ring and looks to be siding with Charlotte. Then she attacks her and gets her into some kind of submission hold setting up a next possible feud.
Fifth Match – The Rumble
Roman Reigns music hits and the big dog makes his way through the crowd. It’s one versus all and has been 18 years since a back to back winner of the rumble. The odds are truly against the champ. Let’s hope they make him look strong.
The number 2 entrant is Rusev with the lovely Lana alongside him. Before entrant three emerges the champ makes easy work of him. Then OMFG AJ Styles makes his WWE debut.
Early on AJ and Reigns are looking like they will need to band together in order to survive. They work together in eliminating Curtis Axel. The ring slowly fills up with Y2J, Kane and Goldust.
R-Truth comes down to the ring and oddly pulls out a ladder. He climbs to the top thinking it’s a ladder match and is then quickly eliminated by Kane.
The league of nations appear from the crowd with Vince McMahon and snatch Reigns out of the ring. They take it in turns to beat down on him and eventually results in Rusev splashing him through a table. Looking like they are really showing that the odds are stacked against him. Reigns is carried away by officials and taken to the back.
Kevin Owens limps to the ring after two of the Wyatts are in the ring. AJ styles eliminated by Owens (disappointing). AJ started impressively and took some punishment, impressed with his perfomance overall.
Sami Zayn returns to eliminate Kevin Owens.
At number 21 comes Erik Rowan, so the Wyatts are filling the ring, I can sense they will be involved in the finish. Harper eliminates Neville with a powerful apron clothes line. Stardust quickly follows and hits the outside.
Number 22 is Mark Henry in his eight royal rumble match. He goes after the Wyatts but is slammed to the ground and then in a group effort they dispose of him in less than a minute. Its only a matter of time until they complelty clear the ring, that is just Dean Ambrose and Jericho.
Brock Lesnar the neat incarnate comes out at 23. He eliminate Erick Rowan and hence suplex city beings.
Jack Swagger comes in at 24 and is subject to an F5 and then eliminated by Lesnar. So much for the tag match he won with Henry.
Awesome! The Miz is here at 25. He goes to the commentary table and puts on a headset. He’s clearly stalling his eventual journey to suplex city.
Luke Harper eliminated by Lesnar.
Alberto Del Rio is at 26 and goes straight for the dominant Brock. Ambrose soon locks into them both.
The other Wyatt is eliminated by Lesnar taking out my prediction of them being involved in the finish. Although Bray is yet to arrive and he comes in at 27.
The Wyatts return and enter the ring quickly ganging up on Lesnar. He quickly fights back and faces Bray. Suplex city! Harper and the others come back in breaking up the chance of an F5 to Bray who then delivers sister Abigail. The Wyatts then proceed to eliminate him.
Dolph Ziggler is at 28
The Miz enters and no sign of Reigns. 42 minites have passed. He deliveres the skull crushing finale toe Ziggler.
Sheamus comes in at 29 and during his walk down to the ring the big dog returns and gives a superman punch to the celtic warrior. He runs into the ring.
The last entrant is HHH for his 9th rumble.
Him and Reigns exchange blows and the threat of a pedigree is imminent. Sheamus finally enters and chaos now enuses. Y2j throws in the lion-saults and Ziggler with the Zig Zag.
Dolph is elimated for his efforts and we are down to 5. Trips and Bray face off. Bray hits the uppercut. Attempts sister Abigail but is brogue kicked and then eliminated.
Jericho with an aerial assualt followed by the code breaker to HHH. He’s then eliminated by Ambrose. Down to 4.
It’s Sheamus, Ambrose, Reigns and Ambrose.
A superman punch to the celtic Warrior and he’s gone. Then Triple H capitalises on Reigns and he is eliminated. The big dog is out of the Royal Rumble
There will be a new champion!
HHH or Ambrose!
They face off. I get a feeling that Ambrose is just a small time rookie compared to the chief operating officer of WWE. Saying that I would take Ambrose as a champion any day, but nope the Game does it. Over the rope Ambrose goes, although a commendable effort HHH is the new champion. Authority rules the day.
Result – Triple H is the new champ!
One word Verdict – Authority (with Styles coming in at a close second)
Full Rumble Verdict – Not a bad PPV considering its one the big 4. The actual rumble itself felt watchable throughout and didnt seemed to be filled with needless spots. Although they did focus on Reigns quite a lot, after all it will be him at Mania. Some other feuds were set up tonight and AJ Styles is finally in WWE. This will probably be the final chapter of the saga that is the authority, I feel after mania it will be stale.
That’s all for this edition of Lee’s Hall of information.